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If you are a creative individual, and have a love of both drawing and storytelling, then you might want to consider a career as an animator.

Animation Job Description

An animator or multimedia artist uses their creative skills to make images come alive. They usually works in the motion picture industry, television, or in advertising. They usually begin their work by drawing something by hand, and that drawing is used to create a series of pictures that can either be drawn by hand or animated using computer software. Computer software is also often used to add special effects to the animation. Some animators may draw storyboards, which serve as visual guides to others involved in the industry, such as voice actors. Multimedia artists often model objects in 3D for computer programmers, so that the images can be given life.  

The job outlook for animators that can work with computers is high, as computer animation is becoming more and more popular. To keep up with the growing field of computer animation, most art schools also offer computer training and computer graphic software courses.

Animation Degree

Most animators get their start by earning either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in fine arts. In addition to general subjects like social science, English and science, they will learn art history and studio art. Many independent schools also offer training in animation and multimedia arts, and there are even some online courses available. Unlike universities, these programs focus more on the studio aspect of art, and less on the humanities. These programs can lead to an associate’s degree or certificate.  Enrolling in an art program is also a great way to build your portfolio.

Of course, one of the most important things to consider when considering a career as an animator is your level of skill as an artist. In order to be a successful animator you should prepare as early as possible by taking art classes in high school. You may even want to try your hand at life drawing through a community college extension course before signing onto a two or even four year animation program. If you have the skills needed, press on! This is an extremely exciting and in-demand profession.

Animation Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average salary for multimedia artists and animators in 2008 was $79,000 per year. Of course, when considering salary one must also factor in employer type, years of experience and of course, skill.